The subject of “Technology” which involves teaching students about mechanics, electronics and the application of science was a popular subject in Kosovo primary schools, offering students the opportunity to take part in practical activities. However, the damage to schools during the war of independence means that teachers have no practical equipment and students simply learn from textbooks. Fadil Krasniqi, a young technology teacher from “Iliria” primary school in Pristina is one of many technology teachers in Kosovo who struggle to provide quality education, always seeking for new approaches.
On March 17th to 19th, 2011, a three-day technology workshop was organized by USAID’s Basic Education Program with the aim of developing teachers’ awareness and understanding of a “Design Challenge” approach to teaching technology.
Tea ch ers f rom schools acr oss Kosovo attended the workshop which gave them the opportunity to explore practical based activities that support learning from the cur riculum and help to develop the key skills for successful learners. The teachers were engaged in solving a challenge in a practical way, constructing with recycled materials, wood and electrical components. You could see the enthusiasm in Fadil’s eyes:
“I’ve learned how to use everyday materials, alongside computer control equipment, and develop a practical product. This workshop has opened a whole pool of new ideas for me and my students … affordable ones.”
By the end of the workshop teachers had explored several practical approaches including the use of paper engineered cranks and levers, programmable logical controllers, a Robotic arm, Lego Robots, and explored a range of web based resources and free downloads.
Teachers were encouraged to plan a practical activity to use with the students in the next few weeks and to identify other opportunities from the text books. USAID’s Basic Education Program will support them with equipment and materials. Based on learning from this workshop and field trials of techniques, a three-day Teacher Professional Development program will be developed for formal accreditation by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.